Friday, 6 November 2015

Sometime recently on Beech Road and a lesson to photographers

It’s one of those things about taking pictures. 

You have to be disciplined because if you are not then the details get lost.

And that is something I constantly wish I could conjure up with many of the photographs in the collection.

All too often there is no date, and certainly no indication of who the people are that stare back at you.  They are lost to history and with the passage of time there is no one left to claim them.

Now with this one I can speak with some authority not least because I took the picture. We are on Beech Road and I remember it as one of those perfect late spring days which still have the habit of surprising  you.

The sun shines with that bright sharp light which penetrates everywhere but it can be bone cold.

But not on this early Sunday afternoon when it is warm enough to sit in shirt sleeves and linger over that second glass of dry Italian white wine.

As for a date that is rather hazy.  I was standing inside Treshers off license which puts it a good few years ago and I am ashamed to say that is the best I can do.

It is so perfectly Beech Road with that mix of casual drinkers and a jam full of parked cars.

Of course the historian in me has to point out that this is all still relatively new. Café Primavera, and the Lead Station which set up in the early 90s were pretty much all there was on the Road, and as a food review of 2003 pointed out a decade later it will still pretty much the same.

Taking in the whole of Chorlton there were the few familiar names which are still around to day, like the Turkish Delight  but the roll call of the vanished is depressing including as it does Michaelangelo, the New Mai Wah, Palmiro, The Nose Wine Bar, Sasso and Azad Manzil.

Add to this Buonissimo, the deli run by Bob and Del and Murial’s the greengrocers.

Now I am the first to admit that Murial’s was old Beech Road but the fruit and veg were second to none and not only did she run a tab for me but was happy to give some cash during the week which just went on the bill to be settled at the end of the week.

Now this is not some sentimental lament for what we have lost.  During the 1970s into the 80s, food shops on Beech Road were closing fast and by and large not being replaced by anything.

There was a seedy neglected feel about the place which was not made any better when the amusement arcade opened beside the Post Office.

So despite the weekend parked up cars outside our house and the constant procession of people down Beech Road, watching the customers relax in the sun with their glass of dry white is just another part of the story of our road.

Picture; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

 *Where to Eat in Chorlton, July 2003

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